May 12, 2016

13 Boating Myths That Will Leave You Shivering in Your Boat Shoes

Argghh, matey. Or at least, that’s what a pirate back in the day would have said if you shocked them with these boating myths. Today, the scuttlebutt* around the marina is that these boating myths have been lurking for hundreds of years and are indeed true. Some boaters swear by them, other boating #BadBuoys test their bravery on the open waters with bananas. Whichever myths you choose to believe are up to you – but we’re still not shaving our beards!

*Scuttlebutt – rumours, gossip, or sea stories that pass back and forth between sailors.

1. Bilge Water Coffee

Rumour has it the cook onboard would make coffee from the bilge water because it tasted so bad. Who’s your barista onboard..?


2. Grooming

Shaving your beard, cutting your hair and cutting your nails are all signs of bad luck onboard. Who wants to shave their beard or cut their hair anyways? More for the wind to flow through while we sail the 7 seas!


3. Bananas

Bringing bananas on board is a HUGE no-no. Legend has it that spiders would crawl out and kill sailors, fumes would poison some boaters, or the mere fact that bananas ripened so quickly was a bad omen.

4. Women

A woman’s beauty was often quite distracting to sailors and as a result, women were deemed ‘bad luck’ on boats because the crew would shrug off their other duties leading to unfortunate events. However, a naked woman (like those lovely mermaids on the front of ships) was considered ‘good luck’ because apparently their lack of clothing calmed the seas… interesting.

5. Thor’s Day

Thinking about boating on a Thursday? Think again. It’s Thor’s day, and that means thunder and storms are on their way.

6. Tattoos

If you’re inked up and showing some skin, legend has it you’ll bring good luck to the boat!

7. Whistling

No matter how bored you get on the boat, don’t you even think about whistling. Myths say that storms would brew for the unlucky whistling boater!


8. Debt

Sailors, pay your dues before you leave the dock. If you don’t, you’ll surely be blamed for any misfortunate events.

9. Blood

Fishermen were said to be unlucky if they started off the fishing season and hadn’t yet shed blood (usually in brawly ways – like fighting).

10. Bye-Bye

Not only is it bad luck to utter the words “bye bye” on the boat, it’s even worse for men’s wives to wave or shout goodbye once the men were on their way out to sea.

11. Sharks

We can all agree that sharks swimming around the boat isn’t the best way to start a boating trip (we’ve all seen Jaws…), but sailors say the mere presence of sharks guarantees imminent death.


12. Egg Shells

If eggs are eaten on board, be sure to break the shells up into extremely tiny pieces. If you don’t, witches will come to the ship and sail in the larger pieces of shell.. and that alone is a frightening thought.

13. Man Overboard

Scottish fishermen bring good luck to their boats by throwing a crew member over the side and hauling them back on. Better stay away from the edges…

If you’re not shaking in your boat shoes yet, we tip our Captain’s hat to you. Do you have other boating myths that would frighten even the most courageous boater? Tweet us at @BOATsmart and use the hashtag #BoatingMyth!

For all other need-to-know boating information, check out BOATsmart! on Facebook and hit that “Like” button so you don’t miss out!

Happy Friday the 13th, boaters!




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